Colorado Criminal Defense Blog

Colorado band consultant arrested for alleged child sex crimes

  • 16
  • April
    2014

Consequences often come before criminal convictions. Any public allegations of sexual misconduct can set off a firestorm that impacts a Boulder defendant's life. Employers, anxious to absent themselves from the high glare of media attention, quickly move to suspend or terminate an accused employee.

Joblessness may be the first of several losses that rip into professional and personal relationships. The legal stakes are extremely high. A conviction for child sexual assault or related offenses can mean a long-term loss of freedom and a lifetime listing on a sex offender registry.

Colorado man may face death penalty with DUI murder conviction

  • 09
  • April
    2014

The legal definition of malice is wrongful intent. Malice may be present, even when a Colorado defendant has no plan to take another person's life. Severe charges are possible when a defendant knowingly engages in a dangerous activity, like drunk driving, that is indifferent to the safety of others.

A 40-year-old Colorado man is accused of causing the recent death of an Aurora high school senior in a DUI accident. Authorities said the repeat offender had at least two earlier DUI arrests, drove without a valid license and lived illegally in the U.S. A chemical test showed the driver's blood alcohol content level the night of the accident exceeded the state limit by four times.

Colorado conspirator allegedly stored ‘spice’ in rental units

  • 02
  • April
    2014

Colorado's marijuana laws policies are among the most advanced in the country, but the state clearly draws the line at synthetic marijuana. Unfamiliarity with the laws' boundaries can get you in trouble. Although the names are similar, marijuana and synthetic marijuana are treated differently under state laws.

Possession and distribution of synthetic marijuana, also known as synthetic cannabinoid or "spice," is illegal. Chemicals added to heighten the user's high can produce dangerous results. More than 200 people in Colorado became ill last year from a bad batch of spice, which has been sold under a variety of brand names.

Colorado health department official convicted of repeat DUI

  • 27
  • March
    2014

Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill that would stiffen charges and penalties for defendants convicted of alcohol-related offenses. House Bill 14:1036 would affect Boulder drivers with previous convictions for DUI, DWAI and DUI per se. Under the proposal, the misdemeanor offenses would become Class 4 felonies for some repeat offenders.

The legal stakes for driving while intoxicated can go very high. Penalties for Class 4 felony convictions may include up to six years of prison time and fines as high as $500,000. Defendants with repeat convictions for the same crimes as misdemeanors, as laws currently state, face maximum jail time of less than one year and up to $1,500 in fines.

4 Colorado teens nabbed for van theft after runaway spotted

  • 19
  • March
    2014

Colorado is one of a number of states where children as young as 12 may be tried and punished as adults, under state statute 19:2-104. Most juvenile offenses are resolved in courts designed for minors. Some cases are elevated to an adult court depending on the child's age, the seriousness of the alleged offense, the juvenile's record and the prosecutor's desire to transfer the case.

Four Colorado Springs teens were arrested recently and charged with first-degree aggravated vehicle theft, greater than $20,000. The value of a stolen vehicle determines the severity of the charge, according to state law 18:4-409. The teens also were charged with first and second-degree attempted assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.

Colorado cold cases revived after man's arrest and DNA test

  • 14
  • March
    2014

The genetic codes in DNA make individuals unique. DNA becomes a detectable mark when we touch things or people. Colorado police investigators gather DNA evidence to strengthen links between defendants and crimes or, in some cases, to exclude someone from a crime scene.

Katie's Law is a Colorado statute that requires police to take DNA samples from adults booked on felony charges. Lab test results are compared to DNA profiles stored in databases, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Combined DNA Index System, known as CODIS. A match in the system alerts authorities.

Advocates seeking to pass Colorado cyberbullying law

  • 09
  • March
    2014

Late last month, a legislative proposal passed the Colorado House Education Committee unanimously. House Bill 1131 defines the scope of cyberbullying as a criminal offense and would make this kind of offense a misdemeanor in Colorado. Currently, anyone convicted of adult or juvenile charges related to cyberbullying is treated as if they have committed either misdemeanor harassment or felony stalking. If passed, House Bill 1131 would make the crime of cyberbullying straightforward and predictable for sentencing purposes.

Advocates insist that the bill will allow Colorado law enforcement officials to more widely and properly prosecute cyberbullying offenders. Opponents insist that the bill is redundant, given that cyberbullying is already frequently prosecuted as a form of criminal harassment. Regardless of whether the bill passes or not, the debate surrounding its possible implementation should inspire parents to talk to their kids and teens about cyberbullying.

Daughter's Facebook Post Botches Dad's $80,000 Settlement Deal

  • 04
  • March
    2014

While not an issue related to a criminal matter in this particular case in the NYdailynews article, it is nonetheless a reminder on how what may appear to be a harmless Facebook post can have serious consequences, whether civil or criminal.

Remember, Facebook and other social media are not a locked file cabinet. Anything you post may be available even if you believe your privacy settings are restricted. An $80,000 lesson for this teen bragging to her 1200 or so "friends."

Dana Snay Facebook.jpg

Pass this along to your family and friends to remind them that, especially in an age of social connectivity, what they say can be used against them.

If you or someone you know has had an experience like this, please share in the comments section below. Or, if you'd like to schedule a free consultation about a criminal matter, please send us a quick email.

Again, the link to the article is here http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/daughter-snarky-facebook-post-nukes-dad-80-000-settlement-deal-article-1.1709067 

Thinking about alternatives to incarceration

  • 02
  • March
    2014

We have previously written about the fact that high rates of incarceration negatively impact taxpayers. Alternatives to incarceration are traditionally much less expensive than imprisoning individuals. In addition, studies show that incarcerating low-level, non-violent offenders often does them, their families and society as a whole far more bad than good. As a result, it is time for federal and state lawmakers to get serious about utilizing alternatives to imprisonment in order to hold low-level, non-violent and non-habitual criminal offenders accountable for their actions.

For example, drug treatment and transition assistance are much more likely to keep individuals convicted of low-level and non-violent drug offenses from reoffending than imprisonment is. Some critics may be concerned that aiding offenders in any way circumvents the purpose of the criminal justice system. But at its heart, the justice system does not aim to disproportionately punish individuals who have committed criminal acts. It seeks to hold them accountable for their actions, deter further criminal activity and to protect public safety.

Justice Department embraces same-sex marriage decision

  • 24
  • February
    2014

We frequently write about the fact that when individuals are arrested and even when they are convicted of criminal wrongdoing, they retain many important rights granted to them by the Constitution and by other tried and tested laws. In fact, many of these legal rights help to ensure that individuals are allowed to mount a full and fair criminal defense once they have been arrested and charged with criminal wrongdoing.

One legal protection that has generally been treated as sacred within the criminal justice system holds that spouses may not be compelled to testify against their spouses during criminal proceedings. This is arguably a protection that is just as important as physician-patient confidentiality and attorney-client privilege are. Thankfully, the Justice Department recently announced that it recognizes this right when applied to same-sex marriages.